Four strategies to help with living with a chronic health condition

By Dr Kylie Moselyhealth

A chronic health condition is typically a persistent and long-term condition; it involves making adjustments to one’s life to manage the condition. These adjustments, and the impact they have on a person’s life, can be stressful at times and take a lot of energy. Examples of chronic health conditions include asthma, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

The kinds of adjustments that are typically made include:

  • Managing pain, discomfort, and physical limitations arising from the condition
  • Following treatment or management recommendations (such as taking medication, and making changes to diet and physical activity)
  • Viewing oneself and one’s body differently
  • Adjusting to changes in relationships
  • Making aspirational, occupational and financial changes

Adjusting to a chronic health condition can be challenging, frustrating, and exhausting at times. As a result, people with chronic health conditions may feel distressed about their condition, its management, and its impact on their lives. Whilst this is a normal experience, any prolonged changes to mood, sleep, activity or eating habits should not be dismissed as part of adjusting to the condition. It is important to seek advice and assistance if you (or someone close to you) have any concerns about your condition, its management, or the impact it is having on your life.

Here are four simple strategies that you might like to try to promote and sustain well-being:

  • Share your concerns with others (e.g., friends, family, colleagues, health professionals) and ask for support and assistance when needed
  • Think about what is important to you in life and take steps to work towards achieving this
  • Do something every day that makes you feel good (e.g., talk to a friend, go for a walk, sit in the sun) – it does not have to take much time
  • Seek support from your main healthcare professional – they can refer to you someone with the appropriate expertise to help you if needed

If you would like to know more about adjusting to a chronic health condition, I will be contributing regular blogs over the next few months on a range of issues. I am also available to consult with, should you wish to learn to better manage your condition.

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